21 Mar

Blog about your passion and share with others!

One evergreen means of creating and sharing valuable content in the online space – the internet, is through blogging. Think of blogging as having an online diary where you can put your thoughts, ideas and experiences in the form of content on the internet for interested people to gain value from. If you are passionate about any topic, one way of offering value to people like yourself in the same niche is by setting up a blog for this purpose. The good thing about it is that you can be flexible with your blogging without any exhaustive routine.

You can also see blogging as a form of creating a presence for yourself. … Read the rest

01 Mar

Adding a Solid State Drive to an Old Laptop

OK, when I say old, about 2 years old, but it was showing its age. It was taking nearly 5 minutes to reboot, and closing Eclipse could take a minute or two.

I decided to invest in a SSD . Not a state-of-the-art SSD, one that’s a little older, but only cost $118 for 480GB. My old drive was 1TB but I had only used about 300GB, so I figured 480GB would keep me for a long, long time. I ended up purchasing a SanDisk SSD PLUS 480GB Solid State Drive (SDSSDA-480G-G26) because of the brand name, and the reviews were good.… Read the rest

11 Oct

Add EC2 to ECS Cluster

I have had a lot of problems with ecs-agent always connecting to the “default” cluster rather than the one I want it to connect to. All the other instructions missed one vital step – removing ecs-agent from docker and reinstalling – that way it re-reads the ECS config file – without this step I could not get ecs-agent to connect to anything other than “default” cluster.

To put an EC2 ecs-agent into a specific cluster do the following:

Edit the ecs configuration file at /etc/ecs/ecs.config: sudo vi /etc/ecs/ecs.config
Add: ECS_CLUSTER=YourCluster
Close the editor “:wq”

Stop ecs-agent: sudo docker stop ecs-agent

Remove ecs-agent from docker: sudo docker rm ecs-agent

Remove the ecs-agent checkpoint file: sudo rm /var/lib/ecs/data/ecs_agent_data.jsonRead the rest

05 Sep

WordPress Transients – Storing False

Storing information in transients is a great way to speed up WordPress, especially if you’re using a memory cache instead of the options table. However, storing false in transients is difficult, because false means there is no transient in the cache. So how do you store false in WordPress transients?

For a great introduction to transients, see https://css-tricks.com/the-deal-with-wordpress-transients/

Why would you want to store false? Generally you would want to store false when it is a legitimate value – for example, when looking for the permalink for a slug, if the slug doesn’t exist then false is a valid return, and you wouldn’t want to query the database every time you looked up the missing slug.… Read the rest

17 Mar

Chrome Slow to Open New Tab

I’ve been having plenty of problems with Chrome being really slow to start or slow to open new tabs on Windows 8. After finding the solution once, the problem then reoccurred a few months later and, of course, I couldn’t find the solution again!

So, what is the solution?

  1. Open a command prompt as an admin user – Windows Key and X, click “Command Prompt (Admin)”
  2. netsh winsock reset
  3. Restart your PC

And that’s it! This solution points to the problem being a winsock issue. But if the browser is working you can leave it alone until it next goes wrong!… Read the rest

12 Feb

NAU Extended Campuses

A great alternative for people who want to save a few dollars on their 4-year degree but still want to gain a quality education from a premier university. The Extended Campuses of Northern Arizona University (NAU) makes a high-quality college education more accessible and affordable for people everywhere through its network of statewide campuses, lower tuition, and innovative online degree and class option. They have in-person classes available in Yuma, Phoenix, Tucson Arizona, and online classes available too. Learn more here.… Read the rest

20 Jan

WordPress Meta Query Slow – WP_Query

I recently had a quite simple meta_query produce really slow response times – 9 seconds to return 2 rows! The meta_query was simple:

[meta_query= array(array(key => 'mykey'
                            [value] => array(3956)
                            [compare] => IN

Resulted in a query such as

FROM wp_posts
INNER JOIN wp_postmeta ON ( wp_posts.ID = wp_postmeta.post_id )
INNER JOIN wp_postmeta AS mt1 ON ( wp_posts.ID = mt1.post_id )
AND wp_posts.post_type = 'myposttype'
AND ((wp_posts.post_status = 'publish'))
AND ( wp_postmeta.meta_key = 'anotherkey'
AND ( ( mt1.meta_key = 'mykey' AND CAST(mt1.meta_value AS CHAR) IN ('3956')))
GROUP BY wp_posts.ID
Read the rest

20 Oct

Open Innovation

The internet has opened the possibility of involving outside agents, such as consumers, to provide ideas for products for a company. Prior to the internet, consumers did not have a direct link to the decision makers in an organization. With the opening of the internet channel, consumers not only can, but want to, interact with a brand.

That interaction can take the form of:

  • Feedback – both positive and negative. Such as too much tomato sauce on a pizza, a picture of which is posted to Domino’s Facebook. Domino’s replied and apologized and gave a free pizza in return.
  • Requesting Features and Improvements – people using your product know exactly what it can and can’t do in a real life situation and what real-life issues they encounter, such as twisting cords on hairdryers (why don’t they fix that one?)
Read the rest
21 Aug

Examples of Abandoned Cart Emails

Part (all) of a search marketers job is to increase sales. To that end implementing an abandoned cart system allows you to double back to someone who almost bought and try once again to convert them. Once an abandoned cart system is in place you should work on optimizing for conversions, after all higher conversion rates mean more sales which makes everyone happy.

To this end I found this blog post 37 Examples of Abandoned Shopping Cart Emails which has the text of 37 different abandoned cart emails sent out by various companies on the web. Not only did I find the text interesting but the fact that Zappos has two text messages shows they are split testing their abandoned cart emails.… Read the rest